Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley finally praises Celtics, picks them to beat Cavs if series goes seven

Alex Reimer
May 23, 2018 - 12:16 pm

Charles Barkley is finally siding with the Celtics. Well, kind of. 

After a season of belittling the C’s and trolling Al Horford, the Round Mound of Rebound says he thinks Boston will defeat the Cavaliers if the series goes seven games. But he says the series will belong to whoever wins Game 5, which will take place at T.D. Garden. The Celtics are undefeated at home this postseason. 

“If they go to seven, Boston is going to win,” Barkley said Tuesday during TNT’s halftime show. “I think whoever wins (Wednesday night) is going to win that series, whether it’s Boston or Cleveland. Cleveland is not going to win Game 7 back in Boston. I thought this was a pick ’em series before it started.”

While this isn’t a full-throated endorsement from Barkley, it is progress. Throughout the regular season, Barkley declared the Celtics weren’t one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, despite loads of evidence to the contrary. During Boston’s series against the Bucks, Barkley chided Horford, who’s averaged 16.6 points per game and 8.4 rebonds during the playoffs.

Even though the Cavaliers are favored in Vegas, some prominent national pundits have been on the Celtics’ bandwagon. Jeff Van Gundy picked the C’s in 5, calling them the better and deeper team.

That was a little off, but the conviction is admirable. 

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